Twins Association of Zimbabwe: Identical twins set to represent Zim

Peter Matika, [email protected] 

AN association for twins in Zimbabwe — the Twins Association of Zimbabwe (Tazi), is making great strides in demystifying myths associated with twins.

Tazi was founded by the 38-year-old Katonha twin brothers, Farai Lawyer and Tendai Mayor in 2016 as a way of trying to empower twins often sidelined in some communities due to myths surrounding their existence. They are married to fraternal twins, Yvette and Nvette.

Tazi, in its quest to reach out to twins across the country, has also set up a competition that has since identified a set of twins Delight and Derlin Mukwesha who are set to represent Zimbabwe, in the most identical twins competition to be held in Namibia in August this year.

The 23-year-old twins will take part in the competition that will pit twins from across the Sadc region.

The Katonhas are also current chairpersons of the Southern African Development Community Twins Association (SADCTA) as well as interim leaders of the Africa Twins Association.

The competition is being organised by the SADCTA.

During the competition, twins will be tested in various ways. First, they will be separated and tested to see if they are like-minded.

The Mukweshas live in Hurungwe, Mashonaland West Province and are very close to each other.

They pursued different careers and Delight is an assistant clerk at Karoi magistrates’ court and also doubles up as deputy Sheriff of the High Court in Chinhoyi.

Derlin is in her fourth year studying medicine at Lusaka University in Zambia.

“The formation of the Twins Association of Zimbabwe was triggered by the identification of the missing puzzle in twin lives. It was observed that 75 percent of twins in Zimbabwe are from poor backgrounds,” said the Katonha brothers.

They said the association is aimed at bringing all twins and those born from multiple births under one roof and promoting their livelihood.

The association also deals with the nurturing, grooming and empowerment of all multiple births.

The twins grew up in a poor background and both had to take turns to go to school due to a lack of resources.

“I skipped Grade 4 and jumped to Grade 5,” said Farai Lawyer.

In 1995 Tendai Mayor dropped out of school to herd cattle.

“Our parents used the wages we had accrued to pay the fees of one who was at school at that particular moment. Being intelligent and identical, teachers and pupils did not notice the difference,” said the twin brothers.

“We resumed lessons together as twins and reconnected to twin life in Grade 6. Such a background led us to believe that twin life is not easy without adequate resources. From such an experience, we believed that the future for twins is bleak and decided to form the association.”

Tazi membership comprises various skilled personnel that includes builders, plumbers, and architects among others.

“We get construction contracts and we call those who specialise in that field to do the job and when they get paid we take a small percentage to the bank and the remainder is shared equally among those who did the job,” said the Katonhas.

Tazi falls under the Ministry of Youth, Arts, Sport, and Recreation. The ministry assists the organisation in securing loans from banks without any collateral.

Besides focusing on twins, the organisation also creates employment opportunities for communities. 

Every year between November and December all twins are allowed to choose any tourism site in Zimbabwe where they meet. The association has a yearly schedule of holding four business seminars where inspirational business people and influential leaders are invited to make presentations.

The Katonha twins said they are committed to empowering all twins and multiple births in Zimbabwe.

“We aim to improve the living standards of the children while also ensuring prenatal and postnatal well-being of mothers who may die due to complications during multiple childbirths. Tazi has established various projects across Zimbabwe, including piggery, poultry projects, farming, and provision of goods and services,” said the Katonhas.

“The association sources milk formula and infant food to ensure that newborn twins and other multiples are well nourished as the mothers sometimes cannot adequately breastfeed more than one baby. Apart from donations from well-wishers, the Department of Social Welfare assists with formula for newborns.”

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